Today, Angela Correll is visiting Traveling With T to talk about A Day In The Life Of An Author. Angela is not only an author- she’s also the creator of Kentucky Soaps and Such. Not only is Angela letting us have a teeny peek in her life- she’s also providing 1 lucky Traveling With T reader a gift basket of Plainview Farms soaps and lotions (Angela was sweet enough to provide me with some samples- and let me just say it- LOVE them!)
I’ll let Angela chit-chat with you all- and after you read her guest post- check out the giveaway!
Guest Post by Angela Correll:
My first confession is that I don’t write every day. I’ve been told I should, and I hope to get there at some point, but right now I separate my writing times from the other seasons in my life dedicated to other goals.
When I am writing, I must be disciplined since it doesn’t happen automatically. The writing fairy doesn’t land on my head and sprinkle creative dust, motivating me to crack open my laptop and fly through the words. This leads to my other confession: Sometimes I don’t want to write, especially in the beginning of a project.
Those first days are the ones when I drag myself to my chair, looking for all manner of distraction – from scooping the litter box to pulling weeds – anything to avoid sitting down at the computer.
Now, however, I’ve been at the craft long enough to know about the struggle that crops up when I’m ready to begin a new project, so I do a few things in advance to prepare:
1. I clear out my writing space so there are no other distractions. Papers are filed, notebooks are shelved, laptop is charged, reading glasses handy, and water bottle is full.
2. I announce to my husband, friends, and business co-workers when I will start writing. They know that means I won’t be available in the mornings. Any meetings, questions, emails, etc., will have to wait until afternoon. This takes pressure off me to respond to texts, emails, and phone calls, and it helps them to know when they will have my full attention.
3. I set a day to begin and stick with it. No matter how I am feeling that morning, I start writing, even if it’s gibberish. A fellow author of over ten novels said she always thought the first chapter was the hardest, and I agree. I make myself begin that first chapter.
My daily routine is to get up early in the morning – usually around 5 a.m. – have a short devotional time, then settle in with a cup of coffee. I make myself stay for at least two hours in the beginning, but just like exercise, I work back up to 3-4 hours a day of writing. I usually take off Sundays, but write six days a week until I get the first draft finished.
Most of the time, I know the general direction of the story, but I don’t always know how it will get there, which is the fun part of writing. Some writers like outlines. I have a more organic approach, with several big things that I know need to happen in the book, but enjoy the journey, just like my readers.
Just as important to writing are chunks of time to think. Long walks, bathtub soaks, and driving trips give me time to percolate the story and let characters develop their own personalities. Sometimes this is where the plot takes an unexpected turn or some piece of the symbolism fits together.
Another part is observation. When do the Walnut trees bloom in the spring and when do their leaves fall in the autumn? Weaving in the season with what is happening in the setting is important for giving a sense of place. I pay close attention to my surroundings when I am writing about a particular season or place so I can bring the reader and all of his or her senses into this area at a certain time. Listening to how people pronounce words, the cadence of their speech, facial expressions, and body language is another key part that makes the characters come alive.
Finally, the revision process involves me asking trusted readers to critique and give feedback. I have learned to love good criticism. Revisions continue through content and copy edits with the publisher until it is finally in print and on the bookshelf.
After a book is released, a day in the life of a writer shifts to attending events and book signings, answering emails, speaking, and doing interviews. That’s when meeting people who connected with the characters and enjoyed the book makes dragging myself to that chair at 5 in the morning well worth it.
Summary from Goodreads:
FORMER NEW YORK CITY flight attendant Annie Taylor is adjusting to farm life when her grandmother considers tearing down the old stone house, unable to finance a restoration after a summer fire. Annie’s boyfriend, Jake, has severed his corporate life in Cincinnati and is jumping headlong into sustainable farming on the land next door. Their new relationship is wonderful-but can it last? As they take steps forward, her paralyzing fear of abandonment threatens to destroy her trust in Jake. As Annie works to save the old stone house, she finds letters written during World War II that reveal a family mystery and an Italian connection. Her grandmother is hesitant to uncover the secret, afraid of what it might mean to her family’s name if they discover the truth. Comments from a nosy neighbor solidify Annie’s fears about herself and when Beulah agrees for Annie to travel to Italy to uncover the truth about her family, Annie is happy for the time away to sort out her feelings. In the meantime, Beulah is left with an unexpected Italian-Catholic houseguest who wreaks havoc with Beulah’s Baptist ways and country routine. As the family mystery unfolds in Italy, Annie is forced to face her own past. Will she let history sabotage the future?
1 Traveling With T reader will win a gift basket (may not be the exact fragrances as shown in picture!) from Angela Correll’s store- some of her Plainview Farms products. The giveaway is open to US only. Check the Rafflecopter link for more info!
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T